Much of what I have read on Plato reads much as though he, to whom the whole of subsequent philosophy is said to be so many footnotes, were in effect a footnote to himself and were being coached to get a paper accepted by the Philosophical Review. And a good bit of the writing on Descartes is by way of chivying his argumentation into notations we are certain he would have adopted had he lived to appreciate their advantages, since it is now so clear where he went wrong. But in both case it might at least have been asked whether what either writer was up to can that easily be separated from forms of presentation that may have seemed inevitable, so that the dialogue or meditation flattened into conventional periodical prose might not in the process have lost something central to those ways of writing.

Arthur Danto, quoted by Jamie Smith